Topic: 5 July 1939: To Hazel from John Glen McCauley

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In which John writes Hazel about Stan White, Katikati news, Hazel's idea of moving to England or getting a job, a Whitsun trip with Trevor Bellringer to Cornwall, North Devon, Stonehenge, Dartmoor, Tintagel, and another trip to Rutland and Whipsnade Zoo.

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N.Z. House

415 The Strand

LONDON W.C.2.

5 July 1939

Dear Haze,

I’ve just written Rae which I hope arrives before her birthday does and now I find I owe you two letters. I’ll take your holiday one first – you seem to have had a good trip round – the one place I’ve often been wanting to get back to see is Otunui – maybe someday.

So Stan White is home again is he – I never heard a great deal as to what he was doing but I imagine he wouldn’t be one to waste his time. I thought you’d be tickled to bits with Eva’s interpretation of a home. I certainly thought Winnie Smith too damn good for the chap she married, but it was just a first impression so I thought little more of it – that’s a pity.

Your K.K. [Katikati] news and Taumarunui, was fairly well as I had known it – never mind. Yes I too thought my car idea over, and felt it a pretty unsatisfactory suggestion. No don’t imagine I’m fat like the photo suggests – I’m just as I was – I haven’t struck anyone who likes it yet. I certainly was surprised to learn of Rae’s Akld [Auckland] episode – seems a good idea to me although I know no particulars – she was always keen on Sydney – has she still ambitions in that direction do you know – if so she doesn’t want to rush it – Sydney is a Hell of a big place and big places are callous – she’s never said anything more to me of it and I’ve kept quiet in case I revive her enthusiasm too soon.

I can’t make any comments on your transfer to here because I know little of all circumstances and I should think Andy’s father would be the best judge of what to do. Dobbie’s brother is a manager of a shop here – I jaunt his way at odd times and pop in to see him – he is a very different sort from Dobbie but a nice chap – his weakness is photography and you must pardon my apparently lightness in the way I treat your suggestion about trying this place – I fully appreciate it will be a big thought in your mind – it is in mine too, but I’m scared of misguiding you and prefer the responsibility of decision to be yours. Whichever it is I hope it turns out for the best.

So you’re considering a job – sounds a good idea to me if you want one, and if you don’t feel like it I guess you wouldn’t be looking for one, so that’s all that matters – what others think or say counts for little most times and it seems this is one of them. Well that seems to be all questions and queries acknowledged. It’s so damn long since I’ve written I can’t recall what I told you last.

We went away at Whitsun and took Trev Bellringer – our tent proved successful and the stove so we bought only beer which was not prepared ourselves. We saw a little of Cornwall and North Devon passing Stonehenge’s Lorna Doone Country, Dartmoor with its famous prison and Tintagel with King Arthur’s castle if it ever was. Needless to say all these places encourage racketeering but we escaped most.

We went up to Rutland the following weekend and saw some gliding which I’d love to have a go at if I had the money. On the way there we spent a couple of hours at Whipsnade Zoo – it’s really the London Natural State Zoo but it’s about 30 miles out. I meant to say too that North Devon has many plants the same as N.Z. – the explanation of course is that Plymouth was the part where the pioneers sailed from. The little villages there are becoming spoiled by tourist traffic, but they are nevertheless very fascinating – little streets too narrow for a big car with little old cottages which to me are alright to look at but bloody awful from a point of view of habitation.

This must be short as usual – I have many so I will write little – hoping you are both in good health and finding what you want. Love to you both from us both.

John [handwritten].

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5 July 1939: To Hazel from John Glen McCauley


Year:1939